Nike Hoop Jam: Bigs

The Hoop Jamboree is one of those special places where you get to see young big men separate themselves from their peers. It's where Greg Oden once reigned supreme and Spencer Hawes and Cole Aldrich first battled. It's also the place were Tyler Hansbrough's national profile was raised.

The fact of the matter is, if you distinguish yourself as an elite player here, it's usually a very good sign for your future development. At this year's event, power forward Julius Randle was the top overall prospect and leading candidate for No. 1 overall in the Class of 2013. Daniel Ochefu, a 2012 center, was arguably the top player at his position.

Here's how it broke down.

Power Forwards

The aforementioned Randle, in our opinion, was one of the most promising prospects to play at the event in recent years. He's a powerful forward with size and skill. He's also a young man with a thirst to improve and portrays himself as extremely coachable. He's a refreshing prospect and his explosion in the lane is significant.

Brandon Ashley parlayed a strong showing here into a spot on the USA U17 team. Ashley improved monthly since the spring and will be a highly regarded recruit. A shot blocker with length, Ashley is cashing in on his upside and has plenty of room to improve.

2013 power forward Jabari Parker has it all: IQ, passing ability and he's not done growing. What we really like about Parker is that he's not afraid to speak his mind and has tremendous potential as a leader both on and off the court.

Power Forwards of note: Jonathan Williams (2013), Chris Walker (2013), Austin Colbert (2013), Alex Foster (2013), Jordan Hare (2012), Phillip Nolan (2012) and Jarmal Reid (2012).


This category was ruled by newcomer Daniel Ochefu. The Philadelphia area 2012 product is a work in progress but the raw materials were enough to earn him top billing at his position. He's country strong and was able to push his way around in the lane. You can tell he's only scratching the surface and this was a significant moment for his confidence.

Tommie Hamilton (2013) was the highest regarded freshman center at the event. He's got soft mitts, a big body and solid touch. His hometown is loaded in 2013 so he's going to get pushed by his peers, which is a bonus to keep the competitive edge strong.

We continue to be impressed with Grant Jarrett and his Inspector Gadget length. He's a year away from being where Ashley is now, but all signs point to him being a well-regarded high-major prospect. Ditto for Cameron Ridley. Maybe the most "out of nowhere" big man at the event, he's a big-bodied powerful finisher. What we liked was how he dunked what he could, even in traffic. He's certainly a guy to watch closely in the Class of 2012.

Centers of note: A.J. Hammons (2012), Willie Cauley (2012), Shaquille Clear (2012), Gavin Ware (2012), Adam Woodbury (2012), Charles Mitchell (2012) and Dominique Wilson (2012)

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